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Lecture 2: A discussion of essential equipment and basic instruction in it's use. This lecture will be given by Dave Barnett with the assistance of Dan Higgins.
This second ;ecture of this three part series will deal with the wide range of equipment available to the beginning and advanced astrophotographer. A detailed discussion of it's use and the pros and cons for each will be included.

Speciffically, topics being covered will include the following:

a. mounts
b. Optical tube assemblies
c. cameras
d. guiding
e. optical issues
f. sensors
g. resolution vs sensitivity vs seeing
h. focal ratios


This course is designed as an introduction to the techniques for obtaining, processing, and analyzing astronomical images. Currently, virtually all astronomical data is obtained as an "image" of some kind. Furthermore, the detector of choice in astronomy is currently the CCD, so this course will deal exclusively with digital images obtained with CCD detectors. Since digital images and CCD detectors are now quite common in most of the physical sciences, this course can also serve as a general introduction to scientific image processing and analysis. However, this course could also be used merely as an excuse to obtain and enhance images of those spectacular objects visible in the night time sky.

The course will cover the use of observatory mounted telescopes, the use of CCD cameras, and the use of image processing software packages. In broad terms the course will cover the following general topics:

  • Locating and identifying objects in the sky using astronomical telescopes
  • Using and calibrating CCD detectors
  • Image processing and analysis of digital images
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